Arkansas city releases shelter dogs into national forest

Arkansas city releases shelter dogs into national forest

Last Update: 6/13 9:50 am

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (AP) – Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley says he has no problem with dogs or other animals. He just believes that strays in his east Arkansas town are better off in the nearby national forest than the local animal shelter.

The mayor says the city’s animal shelter was so run down a regional humane society worker cut the locks last winter and released all the dogs. The city then moved the operation to a temporary fenced-in area outdoors at the city sanitation department.

Still, people complained that the animals were not properly cared for at the temporary shelter, so the mayor decided the dogs would be better off fending for themselves in the St. Francis National Forest.

Valley says the city street director released about 10 dogs into the forest yesterday after the animals were fed and watered. About three dogs were kept to be put down by a veterinarian.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service says the agency was not contacted by the city before releasing the dogs, and does not condone releasing animals into the forest.

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